Who Won the Final Debate?

The experts said this was John McCain’s last best chance to turn the tide. The election has been going Barack Obama’s way, and his republican rival needed a big win in the third and final debate. Did Sen. McCain get it? The polls say one thing, but do the pundits agree?

Click here to watch the final debate

The Polls
According to a national poll that CNN conducted after the debate, 58% of people felt Barack Obama won the debate, while 31% felt that John McCain performed better. The poll also indicates that the majority of people polled felt Obama would do a better job on the economy, health care, and taxes. Additionally, those polled felt Obama was more likable and the stronger leader.

While CNN’s poll suggests an Obama landslide, the folks at Politico have different results. According to an “exclusive survey” of undecided voters, 49% of folks felt Sen. Obama won, while 46% believed Sen. McCain could claim victory. Politico notes that the 3-point difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

CBS News conducted its own poll of uncommitted voters and found that Barack Obama won the third debate by a wide margin: 53% believed that Sen. Obama was stronger while 22% sided with Sen. McCain. A full 25% thought it was too close to call. It wasn’t all bad news for McCain, though. According to the poll, more uncommitted voters trust the Arizona senator to handle a crisis.

The Pundits
ABC analyst (and former Bill Clinton aide) George Stephanopoulos wrote that this was McCain’s best effort, but that Obama was still the victor. Stephanopoulous credited Obama’s ability to stay cool and not grow exasperated during his opponent’s attacks.

Fox News asked a collection of in-house experts who won the debate, and the opinions were…well…fair and balanced. Some felt that McCain was feisty (in a good way) and proved that he is ready for a fight. Others believed that McCain didn’t score the huge hit he needed to stop Obama’s momentum.

Time‘s Mark Halperin graded both candidates on style, substance, offense, and defense. The columnist felt Obama did well (he earned a “B”), but that McCain bested him in all areas. The Maverick scored an A-.

(by Mike Krumboltz from yahoo.com)

Second Presidential Debate 2008 – Full Video and The Winner

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With no major gaffes, stumbles or snafus made by Sen. Barack Obama or Sen. John McCain during the second presidential debate, neither candidate won hands down.

There were no fireworks, no major water cooler moments. Even though the debaters traded testy jabs over the economy, the Drudge Report went so far as to label the debate “boring.” At first glance, it might seem this duel was a draw.

Nevertheless, there is a growing consensus among the pundits that McCain lost the debate, not because of what he did but because of what he didn’t do: He didn’t create the game-changing moment his campaign needed to alter the trajectory of the race.

With McCain lagging in the polls, Politico’s Alexander Burns sums up why Obama gets the “W” next to his name:

Obama didn’t deliver a knockout punch tonight. But he denied his opponent the chance to rescramble the campaign, and that was enough. The day goes to him.

The Associated Press, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post all concur, in their own way. This snoozefest created a winner because no one won at all.

There were a few in the media who focused more on the apparent tie. Mark Halperin at Time gave McCain a B and Obama a B+. Of McCain, he wrote:

The Republican nominee was by turns aggressive, sensitive, conservative and conversational. Successfully presented a negative case against Obama with an upbeat, optimistic smile.

Ultimately though, Halperin echoed the general consensus:

[Obama] played it typically cautious and safe, and thus avoided major blunders, knowing if he commits no errors for the next 30 days, he will be the next president of the United States.

Even if you don’t put much stock in the talking heads, consider what non-media types said. Each candidate stood his ground, looking comfortable in the town-hall setting, yet the insta-polls showed the same opinion: Obama won.

In the CBS poll, 40 percent of uncommitted voters said Obama won. Twenty-six percent said John McCain won, while 34 percent said it was a tie.

Over at CNN, Obama fared even better in the poll: 54 percent said he did a better job, 30 percent gave it to McCain.

Despite those numbers, this isn’t all bad news for McCain. The CBS poll did have a silver lining — respondents still see McCain as more prepared for the job (83 percent to 58 percent).

The other good news for the Arizona senator: there is about a month left in the campaign. That’s enough time for him to find the game-changer he is looking for.

Click here to watch the full video

(from yahoo.com)

Grading of First Presidential Debate and Full Video

Click here to watch the Presidential Debate Video

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